A funny thing happened when I told you about Facebook.
Our fan page magically unlocked and I can post again. Thanks to all of you that turned up the heat.
“Mario I share these posts every day, and depend on them every day…I don’t know what I will do if they stop”-Paula. This is but one of many responses to yesterday’s blog about facebook shutting us down. Facebook is a business and they have a right to their opinions. What they do not have a right to is the false claim that they are an unbiased social network.
Please pay close attention to this week’s blogs because historic things are happening behind the scenes. Obamacare will do its massive harm to America starting on October 1st when the exchanges open. You are going to hear horror stories of chaos and anger nationwide.
However, I am can show you later why this can help in the cause to remove this cancerous legislation.
Once again I feel compelled to add this message to all American preachers: You can speak out, you must speak out. If you take a closer look you will see that while Tea Party, Conservative and Christian nonprofits were delayed in their IRS status by Lois Lerner not one ministry lost its nonprofit status for speaking…not one!
Oh yes, Obama sicked the IRS on Billy Graham for speaking out but that suspension really backfired. Let’s keep speaking out.
The overwhelming majority of my time is spent preaching the Gospel. I was minding my own business when one day Barrack Obama declared war on the Church and on America. Everything I ever needed to know about Mr. Obama became clear to me when I found out the following:
At his behest, the IRS suspended the nonprofit status of Billy Graham’s ministry during the presidential election period.
At the same exact time, black Pastors were being coached by Eric Holder and the Justice department on how to campaign for Obama.
So here is the latest: Go over to our fan page mariomurilloministries/facebook and you will find I have not posted anything there for days. The fact is that I have tried but facebook has shut down the part that allows me to post. As you know, no one can read this post except our friends but anyone can read the posts at our fan page. However, twice now, for no reason they have blocked me from posting at our ministry fan page. They haven’t shut down the page, they have just made it impossible for me to post anything.
My guess is Obama, reeling from his Syrian debacle, the continuing scandal of Benghazi and the certain doom of Obamacare is calling in all of his cronies to silence the opposition. It is clear that Mr. Zuckerberg, owner of facebook is in the tank for Obama and will do his bidding.
Facebook is also paying a great compliment to the blog since it would not be shut down unless it was being effective. It has been clear to us for some time that our blog has made a very important inroads with Christians who have actively begun opposing the anti- Christian, anti-American agenda of Barrack Obama.
So what is the best thing to do now? It is urgent for all of us to understand that our days of free speech on facebook are probably numbered. If you value the information that I am trying to give you then please register to follow this blog because I am convinced that our voice will eventually be totally silenced on facebook. WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT STOP SPEAKING OUT!
Make no mistake, I do not place my highest priority on this blog. It is a tool but the weapons of my warfare are not carnal but they are mighty to the tearing down of strongholds! My real enemy is Satan who blinds, binds and grinds hurting souls. My mission is to preach and prove the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. No weapon formed by facebook can prosper against me. If this door closes, God will blast open another one! The overriding reason for my posts is to help save America and alert believers to the urgency of speaking out before it is too late.
Prayer is our greatest reaction to the enemy. Obedience to what God speaks in prayer is our great cause. Stay strong, stay alert and do not be intimidated!
Speaker of the House John Boehner is cheered on Sept. 20 after the House of Representatives passed a bill that would prevent a government shutdown while crippling Obamacare.
Friday, 20 Sep 2013 11:27 AM
The U.S. House voted to finance the federal government through mid-December and choke off funding for President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, setting up a showdown with the Senate and the White House.
The Republican-controlled House today passed, 230-189, a stopgap measure to fund government operations after current authority expires Sept. 30. The bill preserves across-the-board spending cuts at an annual rate of $986.3 billion and permanently defunds the Affordable Care Act.
“The fight to delay Obamacare doesn’t end next week. It keeps going on until we get it,” Representative Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and his party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, told reporters today in Washington.
The spending measure now will be sent to the Senate where it will pass without defunding the healthcare law, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said yesterday. Obama administration officials said the president would veto the House bill if sent to him by Congress.
If the Obama administration and lawmakers can’t agree on the stopgap funding, most, though not all, operations would come to a halt in less than two weeks. Republicans are using the stopgap spending bill as a vehicle to try to choke off funds for the health program the party has opposed since 2009.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and chief Senate opponent of the health law, said he’s willing to do “everything necessary and anything possible,” including holding a filibuster, to block action on the spending measure as a way to end funding for the health-care law.
The Senate is expected to start considering the legislation on Sept. 23 with goal of finishing by Sept. 26.
Democratic leaders are considering a procedural tactic that would put Cruz and his allies in an awkward spot and upend their efforts.
Under Senate rules, they could have a simple majority vote that would strip the health-care defunding language once they end debate on the House measure.
House Republicans haven’t decided how to proceed once the Senate passes the measure after stripping out the health language.
If Boehner allows the Senate bill to proceed, he would need enough Democratic votes join Republicans to pass it and avoid a government shutdown.
House Republican leaders also could decide to continue revising the measure and send the amended version back to the Senate for a vote, complicating the process and raising the risk of a shutdown as time runs out.
The House spending measure also includes a provision directing the Treasury on how to prioritize payments if the debt ceiling is breached.
House Republicans said today they’d start working next week on legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit and attach a one-year delay in the health law, cuts to entitlement programs and approval for the Keystone XL pipeline.
“The next 10 days are very important for our country,” said Representative Tim Graves, a Georgia Republican, who has pushed for defunding the health-care law.
Ryan of Wisconsin said the measures Republicans will attach would reduce the U.S. budget deficit in the long term.
Rubio: Only Obama Wants to Shut Down Government
Wednesday, 18 Sep 2013 01:51 PM
By Jim Meyers and John Bachman
Republicans should do “anything and everything” to prevent the “disaster” of Obamacare, Sen. Marco Rubio tells Newsmax. But he insists it can be done without shutting down the government.
The Florida Republican asserts that President Barack Obama actually wants a government shutdown to achieve a “political win,” and the administration is going to fight to the bitter end to defend its healthcare reforms.
Elected in 2010, Rubio is considered a rising star in the Republican Party. He delivered the GOP’s response to Obama’s State of the Union address in February and has been mentioned as a presidential candidate in 2016.
His committee assignments include the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
In an exclusive interview Wednesday with Newsmax TV, Rubio discusses efforts to stop Obamacare and the possibility of a government shutdown.
“Every single member of the Republican conference agrees that Obamacare should be stopped, but the disagreement is about the tactic,” he says. “I’m not in favor of shutting down the government. The president appears now politically to be in favor of shutting down the government.
“I’m in favor of funding the government at the levels that were agreed to last year in the Budget Control Act and not spending a single penny more of hardworking taxpayer dollars on a disaster, which is Obamacare.
“Actually, the administration has admitted it’s a disaster because they’ve had to delay major portions of it. Labor unions that strongly supported Obamacare are now asking to be exempted from it.
“So we should be doing anything and everything we can to prevent this law from going into effect, because once it starts to hurt people, it’s going to hurt our economy in ways that are very difficult to undo later.”
The House will pass a plan to delay and defund Obamacare but to keep the government open, Speaker John Boehner says.
“That’s very positive news,” says Rubio. “It’s now going to call attention to the fact that we can keep the government open, we can fund the government, but we don’t have to shut down the government, and we don’t have to fund Obamacare.
“It’s the president who’s threatening to shut down the government because he is saying, and it’s the position his allies in the Senate so far have taken, that unless they fund Obamacare, they won’t fund the government.
“The president’s basically looking for a political win, and I guess his political people have told him that this is a political win: shut down the government and blame the Republicans. The problem is that’s not the Republican position.”
Rubio predicted that the House will pass a short-term budget to keep the government running.
“If in fact the government shuts down, it will be unfortunately because the president and his allies believe that Obamacare is so important to them that they are willing to shut down the government over it.
“That’s shortsighted, primarily because they are going to fight to the end to defend a disaster, something that even their own allies and labor unions are asking to be let out from.”
Speaker John Boehner has decided to virtually bet the House on thrashing Obamacare in a looming fiscal showdown.
In a bow to conservatives, House Republican leaders facing a Sept. 30 deadline to avoid a government shutdown will hold a vote Friday on a three-month funding bill that would permanently drain funds from the Affordable Care Act. The move — a gamble that the establishment wing of the GOP decried not so long ago — nonetheless has unified the conference, according to Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also introduced a plan to the conference Wednesday that would lift the debt ceiling (which expires in mid-October) for one year and impose a year-long delay in implementing Obamacare. It also calls for tax reform and federal approval of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. “That fight will continue as we negotiate the debt limit with the president and the Senate,” he said. A vote on this part of the GOP strategy is expected as early as next week.
Boehner noted Wednesday that congresses and presidents have long used the debt limit “for legislation to cut spending, and even President Obama worked with us two years ago in the debt limit negotiations to put controls on spending. This year is not going to be any different.”
With time running out and their original plan — which would have allowed the defunding provision to be tossed out by the Senate — exhausted, the Republican leaders had to come up with something to address the shutdown threat.
But the House could find itself back at the same place next week. The Democratic-controlled Senate won’t muster the 60 requisite votes for the move to derail President Obama’s signature piece of legislation and authorize $986 billion (extending current sequester levels) in spending. “I want to be very clear: Democrats are not going to agree to defund or delay health care reform. It’s just not going to happen,” said Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray.
Referring to the debt ceiling deadline, Obama told a Business Roundtable meeting on Wednesday that “what I will not do is to create a habit, a pattern, whereby the full faith and credit of the United States ends up being a bargaining chip to set policy.” Doug Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, reminded reporters at a breakfast meeting Wednesday that given the complexity of the ACA, some Obamacare provisions would remain even if Congress cut its funding.
Once the House measure reaches the upper chamber, leaders there could run out the clock and force Boehner and House Republicans into a game-time decision to keep the government running. The question is, will those Republicans choose to swallow a stopgap budget resolution without the Obamacare provision and risk waging the health care battle in the debt-ceiling negotiations?
While Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been leading the defunding effort in the upper chamber, praised the House plan, not all Senate Republicans think the strategy is sound. “Defunding Obamacare makes sense to me,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham. But “if the only way you can do that is to stop the government from functioning, that is a net loser in my point of view.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the House pushing back against the plan, urging lawmakers “to act promptly to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government and to raise the debt ceiling, and then to return to work on these other vital issues,” wrote R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs.
Boehner said he would not speculate on what action the Senate will take: “The fight over here has been won. I’m not going to predict what the Senate is going to do or not do.”
But even some of the most conservative members of the House anticipate the Obamacare fight will be shifted from the budget measure to the debt ceiling settlement.
“I don’t know whether I would vote for [the continuing resolution] without the defund, but we would probably, as a baseline, have to pass it, but at the sequester levels. Then the fight is in the debt ceiling,” Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, a member of the Republican Study Committee, told RCP on his way out of the conference meeting Wednesday morning.
“We would much rather defund, but if we can’t, we want to delay” the health care law, he said.
Fleming also said he expects the speaker to ultimately bring something to the floor that has the majority of support from Republicans. “If it’s anything other than sequester[-level funding], it is going to be voted down,” he asserted. Boehner won’t likely get support from Democrats on such a resolution, as they oppose the current spending levels. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer told reporters Tuesday that he would vote against such a measure, even if the Obamacare provision were not attached. (Democrats have proposed a $1.058 trillion resolution.)
“I think we’re going to have a fight,” Hoyer said. “I think we ought to have the fight now rather than later.”
Democrats say negotiating on the debt ceiling is a non-starter. Some are willing to budge on the budget numbers, but not by much. “We want it as high as possible,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer. “We want to undo as much of sequestration as we can.”
AFP – Australia’s new conservative government on Thursday abolished an independent climate change commission set up by the previous Labor administration, as part of its plans to streamline bureaucracy.
The Climate Commission was set up to provide apolitical and reliable information to the public about the science of climate change, emissions targets and international action being taken.
But Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s conservative coalition, which plans to repeal Labor’s tax on corporate pollution and is the first post-war Australian government not to have a science minister, said an independent body was not needed and the role wouldscourge be assumed by the Department of the Environment.
“As part of the coalition’s plans to streamline government processes and avoid duplication of services the commission’s function to provide independent advice and analysis on climate change will be continued by the Department of the Environment,” said new Environment Minister Greg Hunt.
He said it would save the budget Aus$1.6 million a year in running costs.
Climate Commission head Tim Flannery argued that there was a strong need for independent and accurate information on climate change as “propaganda” aimed at misinforming the public increases.
“I believe Australians have a right to know, a right to authoritative, independent and accurate information on climate change,” he said.
Australia, which is among the world’s worst per capita polluters due to its reliance on coal-fired power and mining exports, has just experienced its warmest 12 months on record.
Average temperatures throughout the country in the year to August 31 were 1.11 degrees Celsius ( 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit) above the long-term average.
Australia’s last summer — the hottest ever recorded — witnessed an unprecedented heatwave, bushfires and floods and Flannery, a professor regarded as one of Australia’s top climate scientists, said an informed public was key to action on climate change.
Australia’s chief scientist, Ian Chubb, told the ABC this week that the axing of any climate bodies would be a loss.
“These sorts of issues are not going away just because we ignore them,” he said.
“They are things we are going to have to deal with and grapple with and understand better and then make informed choices, rather than go out there and guess at what we might do.”
Abbott was only sworn in on Wednesday but he has already taken the axe to three high-profile public service department heads and merged government aid agency AusAid with the Department of Foreign Affairs to cut costs.
He made clear on Wednesday that scrapping the carbon tax, which charges the country’s biggest polluters for their emissions at a fixed price and is due to transition to an emissions trading scheme next year, was his top priority.
His government instead favours a “direct action” plan that includes an incentive fund to pay companies to increase their energy efficiency, a controversial sequestration of carbon in soil scheme, and the planting 20 million trees.
Abbott, who once said that evidence blaming mankind for climate change was “absolute crap”, ordered officials to immediately “prepare the carbon tax repeal legislation”, despite a battle looming in the upper house.
Earth Gains A Record Amount Of Sea Ice In 2013 — ‘Earth has gained 19,000 Manhattans of sea ice since this date last year, the largest increase on record’
Raising the debt ceiling doesn’t increase the nation’s debt, Pres. Obama declared in a speech today.
In a speech at the Business Roundtable headquarters in Washington, D.C., Obama dismissed concerns about raising the debt ceiling by noting that it’d been done so many times in the past:
“Now, this debt ceiling — I just want to remind people in case you haven’t been keeping up — raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy. All it does is it says you got to pay the bills that you’ve already racked up, Congress. It’s a basic function of making sure that the full faith and credit of the United States is preserved.”
Obama went on to suggest that “the average person” mistakenly thinks that raising the debt ceiling means the U.S. is racking up more debt:
“It’s always a tough vote because the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we’re running up our debt, so people don’t like to vote on it, and, typically, there’s some gamesmanship in terms of making the President’s party shoulder the burden of raising the — taking the vote.”
But, isn’t the fact that the U.S. has hit its debt ceiling “over a hundred times” – and, thus, has had to keep raising it – proof that raising the limit does, in fact, lead to increased debt?
IRS employees were “acutely” aware in 2010 that President Obama wanted to crack down on conservative organizations and were egged into targeting tea party groups by press reports mocking the emerging movement, according to an interim report being circulated Tuesday by House investigators.
In the report, the investigators do not find evidence that IRS employees received orders from politicians to target the tea party, and agency officials deny overt bias or political motives.
But the report says the IRS was at least taking cues from political leaders and designed special policies to review tea party applications, including dispatching some of them to Washington to be vetted by headquarters.
“As prominent politicians publicly urged the IRS to take action on tax-exempt groups engaged in legal campaign intervention activities, the IRS treated tea party applications differently,” the staff report concludes. “Applications filed by tea party groups were identified and grouped due to media attention surrounding the existence of the tea party in general.”
That finding contradicts Democrats on Capitol Hill, who argue that some liberal groups also were given special scrutiny, thus showing there was neither a witch hunt for conservatives nor political pressure from the White House.
“The fact is that not a single piece of evidence has been unearthed that suggests there was any political motivation or outside involvement,” Democratic staffers on the House Ways and Means Committee said in a memo Tuesday outlining the state of the investigation. “Republicans, however, believe that if they continue to repeat their baseless accusations of a ‘White House enemies’ list, it will become true.”
For years, Republicans in Congress charged that the IRS was targeting specific groups, but top agency officials denied it.
But four months ago, with an inspector general’s report about to be released, the IRS carefully staged a question at a conference so officials could reveal that they had been treating tea party applications differently.
Several congressional committees have since opened investigations including open hearings, document requests and depositions of agency employees.
The latest oversight report is meant to take stock of where the investigation stands and to lay out what Republicans know and what they suspect. The report says the conclusions are preliminary and that tens of thousands of pages of documents have yet to be examined.
In one of the key findings, investigators said negative press coverage of the tea party was one reason why the IRS gave the groups special scrutiny.
“It was my understanding that the reason they were identified is because they were likely to attract media attention,” Steven Grodnitzky, one of the employees in the exempt organizations division, told investigators.
Another supervisory employee in Washington, Ronald Shoemaker, also said press attention helped shape IRS policies, telling investigators that media attention to those cases “was the basis” for designating them as significant cases requiring special examination.
The Republican oversight report traces the growing pressure on the IRS to act, beginning with Mr. Obama’s criticism of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision in his 2010 State of the Union address to calls from top members of Congress for the IRS to give special scrutiny to tea party applications.
IRS TARGETS GROUPS SIMPLY BECAUSE OF ANTI-OBAMA REMARKS.
Gregory Korte, USA TODAY8:56 p.m. EDT September 17, 2013
WASHINGTON — Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about “anti-Obama rhetoric,” inflammatory language and “emotional” statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.
The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as “propaganda.”
The list provides the most specific public accounting to date of which groups were targeted for extra scrutiny and why. The IRS has not publicly identified the groups, repeatedly citing a provision of the tax code prohibiting it from releasing tax return information.
More than 80% of the organizations on the 2011 “political advocacy case” list were conservative, but the effort to police political activity also ensnared at least 11 liberal groups as of November 2011, including Progressives United, Progress Texas and Delawareans for Social and Economic Justice.
The IRS controversy first exploded in May, when Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had targeted Tea Party groups for additional scrutiny beginning in early 2010. The IRS placed a hold on those applications for more than 20 months, an inspector general’s investigation found.
On Nov. 16, 2011, IRS lawyers in Washington sent a list of cases to front-line agents in Cincinnati, along with comments and guidance on how to handle political organizations.
Tax law experts say those comments appear to show IRS employees trying to apply the murky rules governing political activities by social welfare groups.
But the American Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit legal institute that represents 23 of the groups appearing on the IRS list, said it appears to be “the most powerful evidence yet of a coordinated effort” by the IRS to target Tea Party groups.
“The political motivations of this are so patently obvious, but then to have a document that spells it out like this is very damaging to the IRS,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the ACLJ. “I hope the FBI has seen these documents.”
The IRS categorized the groups as engaging in several advocacy-related activities that could have barred them from tax-exempt status, such as lobbying and “propaganda.”
But the word “propaganda” doesn’t appear in section 501(c)(4), which governs the social welfare status that most Tea Party groups were applying for, said John Colombo, a law professor at the University of Illinois. Instead, it appears in section 501(c)(3), which governs public charities.
“There would be no reason I would think to flag them if it’s for a 501(c)(4) status,” Colombo said. “That’s very odd to me.”
In three cases, IRS lawyers noted that groups appeared to be connected to Republican politicians: Stand Up for Our Nation Inc., linked to former Alaska governor Sarah Palin; Reform Jersey Now Inc., linked to Gov. Chris Christie; and American Solutions for Winning the Future, founded by former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Gingrich’s group was approved last year.
Five groups were flagged as having “anti-Obama” materials in their applications or on their websites.
For instance, the IRS said the website of the Patriots of Charleston contains “negative Obama commentary.” Though the IRS didn’t cite examples, a November 2011 article on the group’s site says: “Obama’s and the Democrats’ track record of disaster is based upon a combination of their ignorance and their fundamental desire to convert America into a ruling class of wealthy all-powerful elitists and a single class of serfs.”
“The web site, as we explained to them on multiple occasions, is really a blog” that members can submit commentary to, said Joanne Jones, the group’s vice chairwoman. “I’m not going to tell you we weren’t political. We were to an extent, but we were within the limits of the law. For example, there’s one clear-cut issue: We did not endorse candidates.”
“To focus in on somebody saying something anti-Obama,” she said, “it’s almost like the speech police there. It’s disturbing. It’s the kind of overreach that leads into Obamacare.”
The group received its tax exemption in September 2012.
RHETORIC OF SOME GROUPS QUESTIONED
It wasn’t just anti-Obama rhetoric the IRS was looking out for. Progress Texas was identified by the IRS as engaging in lobbying, propaganda and political activities. IRS lawyers in Washington noted “anti-Rick Perry” rhetoric, referring to the Republican Texas governor, then a presidential candidate.
Progress Texas received a tax exemption as a social welfare group in June, 2012.
Campaign-finance watchdogs say the IRS scrutiny came out of a justified effort to police “dark money” in politics. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that corporations and unions — and even non-profit groups — could engage in independent political advertising, social welfare groups became a vehicle for funneling undisclosed cash into the election system.
That’s the position of Progressives United, a group founded by former senator Russ Feingold, D-Wis., that itself appeared on the 2011 IRS target list.
“The fact that our group received some scrutiny does not change at all our opinion that scrutiny like this from the IRS, it’s their job. The law applies to us as it would any conservative group,” said Progressives United’s Josh Orton. “I feel like there’s this group of campaign finance nihilists who want to expand this into an argument that there should be no scrutiny at all. They want a wild west of election law, because they want to continue using secret corporate money to influence elections.”
Crossroads GPS, a group affiliated with GOP strategist Karl Rove, spent $70 million on the 2012 election. Its 2010 application for a tax exemption, obtained by the non-profit news organization Pro Publica last year, said it would spend 50% of its resources on “public education.” In the 2011 list, the IRS noted “significant anti-Obama rhetoric.” Crossroads has not received a tax exemption.
‘WE ARE TOTALLY ABOVE BOARD’
The Tea Party of North Idaho filed its tax-exempt application in February, 2010 — the same month IRS screeners in Cincinnati first brought Tea Party applications to the attention of officials in Washington, according to IRS employee testimony before a congressional committee.
A lawyer in the IRS Exempt Organizations Technical Unit in Washington wrote the Idaho group had “No significant amount of clear campaign intervention; however little issue advocacy or educational; significant inflammatory language, highly emotional language, little to no educational information on issues.”
The IRS lawyers recommended that screeners in Cincinnati look for other materials — including “press releases, commentary, articles, and research reports,” according to the IRS list.
That’s when Leslie Damiano, who co-founded the North Idaho group, started getting what she considered to be intrusive questions from the IRS. She said the tax agency wanted to know who her donors were, and what companies they own. They wanted to know the educational background of the group’s board members. And they wanted to know whether candidates were invited to the group’s meetings, and whether it made endorsements.
“We’re a conservative organization. We invited some independents,” she said. “We never had any rallies that were off the charts by any stretch of the imagination.”
Frustrated with the process, the Tea Party of North Idaho withdrew its application in 2012.
“We had an accountant, we had a bookkeeper. We were totally above board with everything we did,” Damiano said.
Some groups caught in the IRS’ net had no connection to national politics on either side. The Citizens for the Preservation of Rural Murrysville says it’s “dedicated to the preservation of the open and natural, rural character of Murrysville, Pa.,” although the IRS said it endorsed some local candidates. The Sarasota Bay Tiger Club is one of several similar Florida clubs that provide “a non-partisan forum on current political issues.” The club says it has “never endorsed political candidates nor advocated a particular ideology,” but the IRS said in its spreadsheet that it was “unclear” if that was the case.
The list also includes the Association to Reduce the National Debt, which was seeking to be recognized as a charity so it could solicit tax-deductible contributions — and give those contributions to the U.S. Treasury to put toward the national debt.
Founder Seth Eisenberg said the group was not political — and he told the IRS that.
IRS tax specialists noted “no political campaign activities.” But two years after applying, the association still hasn’t gotten his ruling letter. And without that letter, contributions are not tax-deductible and no one will give, he said.
All for a group that said it wanted to give the government money.
“I thought this would be a fast-tracked application. A no-brainer. But it got caught up in this whole political controversy,” Eisenberg said. “It’s the greatest irony that ever was.”
August closing of Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas.
Update: The Huffington Post assessed the “dramatic toll” that recent pro-life laws have taken on abortion clinics, with Arizona leading the way. Meanwhile, the abortion battle has gone digital as more states ban abortions by telemedicine.
(BP) For Abby Johnson, the closing of a single Planned Parenthood center demonstrated her dramatic reversal from abortion clinic director to leading pro-life advocate.
But for pro-lifers throughout the United States, it marked another exhibit in a hopeful trend—abortion centers are shutting down at an unprecedented rate. The total so far this year is 44, according to a pro-life organization that tracks clinic operations.
None was more telling for Johnson than the mid-July closing of the Planned Parenthood center in Bryan, Texas. It came less than four years after Johnson, burdened by her involvement with abortion, walked out of that clinic as its director and into the offices of the Coalition for Life.
“Knowing that the former abortion clinic I once ran is now closing is the biggest personal victory of my life,” Johnson said in a written statement after the announcement of the shutdown. “From running that facility, to then advocating for its closure, and now celebrating that dream … it shows that my life has indeed come full circle.”
Since her celebrated conversion from Planned Parenthood director, Johnson has started a ministry to help workers leave the abortion industry. She has pledged, as she said in July, to “fight until every abortion clinic in this country has shut its doors.”
This year, 42 clinics that provided surgical abortions have shut their doors, and two that offered chemical abortions by drugs also have closed, according to Operation Rescue, which monitors closings and health and safety violations by clinics nationwide. That number far surpasses the 25 surgical clinics shutdown last year and the 30 in 2011, by Operation Rescue’s count. While others estimate a smaller number of closings, the pattern is clear.
Some of the shutdowns have been of major clinics. For instance, Virginia’s No. 1 abortion provider closed, The Washington Post reported in July. NOVA Women’s Healthcare in Fairfax, Va., shut down after state and local governments enacted regulations the abortion provider appeared unable to meet. The northern Virginia clinic performed 3,066 abortions in 2012 and 3,567 in 2011.
The reasons given for the upswing in closings are varied even among pro-lifers. They include:
— the increasing state regulation and oversight of clinics;
— a growth in pro-life opinion and activity, and
— a decline in the abortion rate.
In some cases, clinics have shut down when abortion doctors retired or were no longer licensed.
State legislatures enacted 69 pro-life laws this year, according to a report released Thursday (Sept. 5) by Americans United for Life. In all, 48 states considered about 360 such proposals in 2013, AUL reported.
The legislative action this year continued a recent trend in states: 70 “life-affirming measures” became law in 2011 and 38 in 2012, according to AUL.
Some measures have targeted making the procedure and clinics safer for women, and have helped escalate the number of clinic shutdowns. This year, states such as Alabama, North Carolina and Texas passed varied laws either requiring abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as outpatient surgical centers, or authorizing the state to enforce such requirements. Also, in 2013, North Dakota and Wisconsin joined Alabama and Texas in mandating abortion doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals.